TCDD Rotary snowplows
Snow abounds in Turkey and is essential to replenish the country water reserve. Snowfalls usually occur around December in most of Anatolia, a bit sooner in eastern Turkey. Sub-zero temperatures will last until around April. From one to several meters of snow can be expected, depending on the location.
Most of TCDD network is exposed to the hardships of winter, the lines in central and eastern Anatolia being the most exposed. THe flat land of the Anatolian plateau is also prone to snow drift and many snow protection galleries and fences had to be built.
We are presenting in this page the little material gathered to date regarding snow removal. Basically three standard gauge machines are shown:
- Nohab 4 axles rotary snowplow delivered to TCDD in 1929.
- Nohab 5 axles rotary snowplow .
- Henschel rotary snowplow delivered to the CFOA in 1912
Snow removal in modern days
TCDD is still using heavy equipment for snow removal. Modern snowplows and snowblowers have replaced the rotary snowplow. Unfortunatly, I don't have information regarding these newer items of equipment.
In addition, much of the snow removal is done either by the engine's pilots, or by the use of light equipment such as a truck-mounted snowplow. Unimog trucks are often used: this vehicle is widely used by the Turkish Army and spare parts are readily available.
It must be noted that de-icing and snow clearing in station is also a labour-intensive job because TCDD has few (if any) turnout heaters. Hence, the network is severely penalised during snow falls and heavy delays occur.
Nohab 4 axles rotary snowplow
- Total quantity: 3
- First year: 1929
This unit is steam powered. The rotary wheel can be operated in both direction in order to expel snow to the right or to the left side. The operating speed is 150 revolution per minute. The driver stand in the front end and can communicate with the fireman at the back using an internal electric system.
|Heating surface||132,3 m2|
|Water capacity||16,5 m3|
|Overall length||19,14 m|
One of these snowplows became famous when it delivered the Orient Express on the 5 February 1929. The Orient Express was stuck in Çerkesköy, in Trakia, since February 1st by a storm of "frozen snow", ice and wind. Temperature went a low as -25°C, train heating and food supply became a problem. CIWL employees made inhumane effort to maintain the best condition possible for their customers. The passengers in return acclaimed the CIWL staff upon arrival in Sirkeci and no one complained about the trip. It is little known that the snowplow was brand new at the time and not yet officially delivered to TCDD.
One of these unit is preserved at Çamlik steam museum
Nohab 5 axles rotary snowplow
- Total quantity: unknown
- First year: unknown, prior 1914?
|Snowplow wheel dia||830 mm|
|Length between bogie center pins||6,0 m|
|Number of cylinder||2|
|Cylinder dia||430 mm|
|Piston stroke||560 mm|
|Boiler pressure||12 bar|
|Grate surface||2,39 m2|
|Heating surface||134,27 m2|
|Superheating surface||41,0 m2|
|Snowplow weight loaded||76,2 T|
|Plow speed:||180 RPM|
|Tender wheel dia||1000 mm|
|Tender wheelbase||4,75 m|
|Tender water capacity||21,5 m3|
|Tender coal capacity||7 T|
|Tender weight loaded||51,5T|
|Overall wheelbase||16,57 m|
|Overall Length (over the buffers)||20,65 m|
|Overall weight||127,7 T|
Factory picture of the 5 axles Nohab unit. Scan Eljas Pölhö
Henschel Rotary snowplow
- Total quantity: unknown
- First year: 1912